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Walkabout is the story of two children a teenage girl and her 7-year old brother stranded in the Australian wilderness. They become trapped there when their father drives them out in the middle of nowhere, lights the car on fire, then shoots himself in the head. Lost and alone, the two attempt to find their way back to civilization. Just when they have run out of food and water, an Aboriginal boy finds them and guides them through the bush. He's on his "walkabout" -- a several months' journey across Australia where he must survive off the land – this journey takes many exciting twists and turns with a tragic ending. Walkabout is about the never-ending conflict between civilization and nature, and how the two constantly work to destroy one another. Man is continually tearing down the wilderness to build building and improve the land, but left unattended the building are taken back by nature. This movie does a good of showing how civilized humanity is the enemy of nature
Walkabout unfolds through its beautiful imagery and its music. A lot of the film is left to the viewer’s interpretation. Walkabout feels a bit like seeing Koyaanisqatsi with some plot. Still, Walkabout doesn't sentimentalize nature. There's death out there, and people fall victim to civilization and the wilderness. What I liked best about the film was the way it renders the details of life in the desert -- the heat, the texture of the rocks, the lack of moisture, the stench of decay, the sweetness of the fruit, the weariness of a long day's walk. The girl and her brother were near dehydration until they came across a small oasis. This seemed to me as the deserts way of giving them a chance to survive. Not only the water it provided them but also the Aboriginal boy that saves them. His ability to provide food and a guide across nature is the only reason these two city children survived.
In contrast to the city children, he moves through the desert as if it were part of his village. He survives not only with skill but with grace and pride as well, whether stalking kangaroo in a beautiful but deadly dance, seeking out the subtle signs of direction, or merely standing watch. He not only endures, he merges with the land, and he enjoys it. When they arrive at the edge of civilization, he offers in as ritual dance to share his life with the white girl and boy he has befriended the aborigine boy kills himself after dancing as long as he could.
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